Spotted Lake is a sacred medicine lake and a protected cultural heritage site of the Syilx Okanagan People. In 1979, the Okanagan Elders and Chiefs came together and wrote the Statement of the Okanagan Tribal Chiefs on Spotted Lake, which reflected the thoughts, feelings and voice of the Syilx Okanagan People.
Excerpts from the Statement:
“Since the dawn of history, Spotted Lake or “Ha? Ki lil xw” as we call it, has been a sacred place. Indians from all tribes came to visit the lake for the medicine the lake contains. The ceremonial cairns, too numerous to count that surround the lake testify to that. Some of these are so ancient they have sunk underground and only their tops remain above ground. Some are buried altogether. There are many stories told by our ancestors about the cures this lake has provided, physically and spiritually through its medicine powers.”
In 2001, the Chiefs of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development successfully finalized the acquisition of the 56 acre site of Spotted Lake lands for the use and benefit of the Okanagan First Nation.
The importance of this sacred site cannot be underestimated. In order that it may be preserved for future generations, access to the lake is monitored by the Syilx Okanagan Nation. Those wishing to visit the lake should seek permission by contacting the Okanagan Nation Alliance.